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Many people often find themselves asking the question what is intensity in training? The reason for this is quite simple, it is often confused. While many think it means how hard you are working, it actually refers to the amount of weight you are moving. Now don’t worry if your one of those who has mixed this up, I can see why, it is commonly used as a measure of effort when talking about training. I will fully clear this up and provide some useful information to you as this article progresses!
How Intensity Relates to Your Training:
Now that you know the actual definition, let me put it into context for you. Let’s say you want to increase your intensity, this would look like increasing the amount you are squatting from 195 pounds to 205 pounds (this is an example). Here you have just increased your intensity, and if you think about it, this does mean you are increasing your effort in one way or another because you are moving more weight!
This can be used for many things within your training, it is directly related to a goal of getting stronger and definitely plays a part in gaining muscle. It can also be used for many other goals such as training for power or even muscular endurance in the sense of; if you can increase the weight you are moving but keep performance consistent, you have just improved. Next, I will talk about some ways you may want to implement intensity into your training.
Implementing Intensity Into Your Training:
You can implement the use of intensity in a few different ways. First of all, if you are weight training in any way you are already using intensity. However manipulating intensity is where the real benefits come from. The main way to do this is through progressive overload. As we know from my latest article Training For Goals, progressive overload can be achieved in a few ways. Relating it to intensity, however, would involve increasing the weight you are moving over a period of time in a way that forces your body to adapt and increase it’s performance capabilities.
There are also more “finer” areas where you can increase your intensity, however, these are for more intermediate and above lifters because most beginners will be able to progress without using these. One of these finer areas refers to what is called heavier eccentrics. When performing a lift we are stronger on the eccentric portion of the movement. So if we can take advantage of this we have a chance to increase the intensity we are using and involve overload. This added intensity will ultimately help to gain muscle because one form of gaining muscle is through eccentric damage.
Intensity and Effort (Don’t Get The Two Confused):
Now that you know the true meaning of intensity, how it relates to your training and how it can benefit you in your training you have no excuse to not know what intensity is. Next time someone says you need to increase your intensity, clarify with them to see what they are actually saying. I can almost guarantee you most beginners-intermediates won’t know what intensity actually is and clarifying this is never a bad thing.
I thank you for taking the time to read my article, I hope it has helped you to figure out the real meaning of intensity and how it is related to your training. As always if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to get back to you!
Until Next Time,
Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.